I am SO proud of my little sister!

A few weeks ago I posted about my 14-year-old sister Emma and her struggle with self-harm and suicidal thoughts and depression.

She is still struggling, but one of the things we have been trying to work on together is her exercise and nutrition.

Back in January, it was her resolution to get abs. I trained her a little and now she literally has harder abs than I do. But one of her biggest problems in my opinion was her nutrition.

As I have progressed in my nutrition studies, I have found that so many of the roots of depression and anxiety can physiologically and chemically be traced back to some form of malnutrition. These connections are everywhere, and absolutely mind-blowing. Back in January when I spoke to Emma about what she was eating on a daily basis, and she was deficient in nearly everything. I gave her some direction and she really took it to heart.

Over the past few weeks I have noticed that Emma has been making some impressive nutritional choices. The last night she was here, there was pizza in my house and she didn’t even look at it. Instead, she wanted chopped up tomatoes with fresh lemon juice. If you know ANY 14-year-olds, you can appreciate how abnormal this is.

A few weeks ago she stopped drinking Coke cold turkey. Previously she was drinking it all the time. Since making these changes her social activity has dramatically increased. Before, all she would do is sit at the computer. Now she is always outside with friends, doing all those “normal” things that teenagers do. She even got a boyfriend.

This week Emma stayed at my house from Monday-Wednesday while my mom was away. I gave her a t-shirt that I bought a few years ago at the annual Harbourfront Vegetarian Food Fair.

It’s a bright red shirt with the yellow McDonald’s arch on it. But instead of McDonald’s, it says McShit.

This shirt is now permanently attached to Emma’s torso. She loves it. And last night she made a commitment to not eat McDonald’s for one full year.

Now there is something important you should understand about Emma: she is probably singlehandedly keeping McDonald’s in business. McDonald’s is like her religion, and this goes way back.

When Emma was a clumsy toddler, my dad would stay home to take care of her. His idea of doing this was to take her to McDonald’s, feed her some crap, and leave her in the play area. Emma has been eating McDonald’s for as long as she can remember. And most of her childhood memories are from a McDonald’s play place.

Once when Emma was little, she broke her arm by trying to climb up the wrong way on a McDonald’s slide. To this day she can’t reach up and touch her own shoulder. So we make fun of her, as is our sisterly duty.

The point is – Emma was raised on this stuff. So for her to give it up can’t be easy. And it makes me very proud.

Here is another picture of Emma that I stole off Facebook, which I am certain she will object to. People say she looks like me. Lucky kid.

This next one is old and Emma will surely be horrified, but I love it! My two baby sisters! Eli & Emma:


My half marathon is only 10 days away! I will be running on Sunday May 16th.

If any of you are going to be in the Toronto/Mississauga area (or even if you’re not) and you want to come watch me run, please feel free. Send me an email so we can make arrangements about where to meet up: vanessaruns@gmail.com.

You can find further details here.

I’m excited! More details about my race preparations to come!